CHAPTER 4 THE FALL
After Adam had taken his first bite of the forbidden fruit, an unnatural silence fell upon the garden. Adam came upon a favorite lion and when he reached out to give the lion a favored ear scratch, the lion jumped as if burned, turned and ran, a whine escaping from its throat. Adam was surprised and confused. “Why would lion run? We have enjoyed each other all this time?” He took the last bite of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and tossed the pit toward a block of birds. They scattered in great fear, screaming warning for all to hear. Again, Adam was confused. The noise had been deafening and an emotion began to well up in him he had never known. His stomach began to turn and twist, his pulse quickened, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He felt fear. Adam looked around and saw his home, the Garden as if with new eyes, noticing things he had never seen before, His view was one of practicality. He noticed the placement of plants and trees and appreciated not only the visual appeal of well-placed plantings, but he further noticed how plants were growing in their optimal growing conditions, nothing had to struggle in the wrong soil, or strain for more sun or more shade. He saw that parts of the garden were lower than others, closer to the river because they did best with more water while plants that preferred drier conditions were on higher land. He noticed also how the animals were again, placed according to their eating preferences, he noted again, the brilliance of the placement. “How come I never noticed this before? I must tell my Lord about this tonight …..” Adam began to become aware of other things, of his own nakedness. As he looked down on his nakedness, he felt shame, and knew he must fashion some sort of covering. He began to rush back to the tree, where he had left Eve who was having an earnest discussion with their new friend.
Eve was nowhere to be seen, but he could hear her making noises he had never heard before. She was sobbing. “Eve! Eve! Where are you? What is wrong? Strange things have been happening, I must tell you.” As he called he searched through some undergrowth she would hide in when they played Hide and Seek. He saw a large boulder and realized the strange sounds, the sobs, were coming from behind it. “Eve!”
“H-Here!” she sobbed. Adam moved around the boulder and beheld her crouching low, using her hair and her hands to try to cover herself. She looked up at him piteously with tear stained eyes. “Adam, I – I am naked! H-Help me, I must find some covering for my body!”
“Be calm, my wife. I am already working this out. Relax and give me a few moments, this will be quickly solved.”
Eve smiled up at her husband. He had always been a wonderful companion and now that she was in need, he was proving himself to be caring and gentle.
Adam needed something that would not rip or tear easily and was large enough to allow quick fashioning of coverings for the both of them. He found some fig leaves, the leaves were larger than normal, not good for cooking, but tough and perfect for fashioning coverings for Eve and himself. “These will do nicely!” he thought and he made to pull the leaves but in their age, they were as tough as the large leaves they sported. They were strong, stronger than the strength he would have imagined. He had never run into anything like this and stepped back to ponder what he should do next. He needed to harvest these leaves and weave the coverings he needed. As he stepped back, his foot hit something sharp. He looked down and saw a stone he had never seen, glossy and black and so sharp! He had stumbled on obsidian. He picked up the strange black stone and rubbed his fingers along the edge. He winced as the stone sliced the top of his finger. “His will help! This will cut the vines!” He went to work chopping and slicing at the leaves until he had a pile half his five foot eight height. He looked around for a way to attach them and found some thorns that were malleable enough to bend and hold. He fashioned himself a broad belt of leaves that would hide his nakedness, slipped it on and looked down to admire his handiwork and there it sat, on the ground around his feet. He picked the circle of leaves up and looked at it quizzically. He wrapped again, but tighter. Still, it would not stay and fell to the ground. He needed a way to hold them up. How? This was turning out to be far more complicated than he had imagined. He threw himself back in frustration, forgetting about the tree and hit his head. “OOwww!” he cried, and turned to see what he had hit. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a skeleton of a tree, another new thing! As he looked at the tree he saw some greenish gray strands that were interwoven in the tree skeleton. As he studied the Spanish moss he began to understand. His shoulder could hold the belt; he needed to use his shoulder in order to hold the belt up!
After several more tries, he had made a fair garment that did not come apart. He grabbed some additional leaves and moss as well as the obsidian blade and started off toward Eve. He found her still behind the same boulder. She was curled in a fetal position and had fallen asleep, her long thick hair covered her like a luxurious mink blanket. As he gazed on her slight form, he thought there was nothing as beautiful as this female the Lord had made for him. The Lord! His head snapped up and he looked toward the sun. The Lord always came around sunset to walk with them in the Garden. He always looked forward to those times, but now he found himself wishing he had more time. He dreaded tonight’s talk. He got to work quickly and Eve awoke to a two piece covering made of fig leaves, strange thorns that did not hurt, and moss. The sun was starting to kiss the horizon. The sky was taking on the breath taking colors of coral, lavender, it was as if they could see the Master’s hand creating another sandscape for them to enjoy. But neither of them noticed the beauty of that night’s artwork. They both looked at each other, panic stricken as they heard The Lord call for them.
“Adam, Adam! Where are you?” The Lord called.
Adam took Eve’s hand and called out, “Lord, Here I am.”
“Where have you been? Did you not hear Me calling for you?”
“We were afraid, Lord.”
“Why would you be afraid? There is no danger in this Garden.”
“We knew we were naked, Lord, and were ashamed.”
“How would you know that unless you had eaten of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?”
“I did not pick the fruit, Lord. This woman you gave me told me to eat of the fruit for it was good, and so I did.”
We can read the rest of that conversation in Genesis 3:10-24 in the Good News Version.
“That evening they heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. 9 But the Lord God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.”
11 “Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?”
12 The man answered, “The woman you put here with me gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
13 The Lord God asked the woman, “Why did you do this?”
She replied, “The snake tricked me into eating it.”
14 Then the Lord God said to the snake, “You will be punished for this; you alone of all the animals must bear this curse: From now on you will crawl on your belly, and you will have to eat dust as long as you live. 15 I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel.”
16 And he said to the woman, “I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth. In spite of this, you will still have desire for your husband, yet you will be subject to him.”
17 And he said to the man, “You listened to your wife and ate the fruit which I told you not to eat. Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you. 18 It will produce weeds and thorns, and you will have to eat wild plants. 19 You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all human beings. 21 And the Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Now these human beings have become like one of us and have knowledge of what is good and what is bad. They must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God sent them out of the Garden of Eden and made them cultivate the soil from which they had been formed. 24 Then at the east side of the garden he put living creatures and a flaming sword which turned in all directions. This was to keep anyone from coming near the tree that gives life.”
The Lord showed them how to make coverings from animal fur and thus the Lord Himself made the first animal sacrifice. He commanded his angels to come and instruct Adam and Eve in growing crops, how to build a shelter, how to hunt, kill, skin, and prepare the meat for food. Life would no longer be easy, they saw the struggle before them. Eve would collapse in a heap at night wailing and sobbing for what she had done. At first, Adam tried to comfort her, but she would not be comforted so he finally busied himself with other tasks.
When morning came Adam and Eve awakened to a great clamor, a league of angels was there. The Archangel Jophiel stood with a flaming sword at the head of a great legion of warrior angels. He opened a great scroll and read the words to Adam and Eve.
“Whereas the Creations of the Lord God Almighty, Adam and Eve, knowing that the fruit of this one tree had been forbidden to eat, did of their own free will, take and eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This sin, this Original sin, against the Lord God Almighty requires judgement. It is the Lord God’s judgement that Adam and Eve be driven from the Garden of Eden, never to return. You will eek out a living from a cursed earth outside of these sacred boundaries. A Cherubim and a flaming sword will be placed at the east side of the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life so none will approach it. This Garden will be hidden from mankind for all time.“
Once the Jophiel put the scroll away the legion began to move forward forcing Adam and Eve ever backward and out of the Garden. Eve was screaming, begging, “Lord, Lord, I am so sorry, just one more chance, please Lord! I did not realize, Lord! Please don’t do this!” but there was no answer. That communication was no longer possible because of the sin that had entered and their knowledge of good and evil. The connection that they had with the Lord God had been broken because of that sin.
Shimera awoke to a clamor of goings on and moved quickly through the forest. Animals were running this way and that, shrieking and wailing and roaring in confusion and fear. As she looked around, she saw angels everywhere moving the animals quickly out of the Garden, toward the west end. She called out, “What has happened! What is wrong?” but all that came out were roars and grunts. Something terrible must have happened for she could not speak, she could not communicate with the angels. She was herded along with the rest of the animals.
Drago and Droga came up beside her. “our friend has won! Your God only ruled that stupid little garden, our god, Lucifer, will rule the rest of this land! He has promised us a place with him! You are so stupid!” Drago was elated with a false bravado. Droga egged him on.
Shimera was silent a moment as she took all this in. She needed to respond to these two quickly and then slip off so she could think and maybe talk with Michael. “Win! It looks like you are the biggest losers. Satan used you than threw you away. Don’t you realize that is what he does? He promises you everything and then gives you nothing or in your case, causes you great harm. No, my friends, you two are the losers here. I tried to warn you. He said you will be with him? His home is not in a comfortable or nice place. It is hotter than the fire you used to spout, crueler than you could ever imagine and there is no escape. It continues for eternity. If you are to be with him, that is where you will be!”
Drago and Droga stopped and looked at each other in shock. Was that cute dragon that was to la-dee-da for them right? The truth finally began to dawn as they heard Satan’s derisive laughter.
Shimera had turned her back on the sad column of creatures exiting the once beautiful garden. As she moved away she heard a loud noise and felt rather than saw a flash of light and heat, Michael stood before the three dragons. In a tight, controlled voice he ground out the Father’s instructions. “You are to forsake all fellowship with all other animals if you wish to retain these forms. You are to dwell in the high places and live as you can, away from all other living things. In time you will find females with whom, if they accept you, you may procreate. However, this dragon here, Shimera, you are to leave in peace. If you cause her harm in any way your life will be extinguished. Your future is not found in the Lamb’s book of Life. Your eternity is set for you set the fallen one, Lucifer up as your god and assisted him in destroying the Garden. Your hearts are still black and loyal to him. Do you understand the rules you must follow and the provisions that have been made for you?”
“Yeah, yeah.” spat Drago. ” We go to those mountains over there, no contact with other living things, leave this shrinking violet alone. We get to live with the boss when things are done here. Got it. ” Drago flexed his wings, looked over at Droga, “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
Droga spread his wings and tested them. He leered at Shimera and winked. “Sorry to have to leave, sweetcheeks. You don’t know what you’re missing. Let us know if you change your mind!”
Michael actually growled and began to unsheathe his sword.
“For crying out loud, Droga! What kind of idiotic game are you playing?” Drago stormed as he circled above. “Take wing and get up here or I swear I will leave you for his sword!”
“Alright, alright! I was just hav’n some fun with the girl!” Droga complained. He ran and had a far from graceful take off.
Shimera dropped back a bit and slipped behind some banyan trees. They were so huge one would think they had been there for a hundred years.
She sat for a few moments. The sounds of the frightened, confused animals, the wailing of Eve faded as they moved further and further away. Moments turned into minutes, minutes to hours. Suddenly, without warning, Shimera let out a cry. That cry embodied more sorrow, more horror, more despair than had ever been made in all of creation It was so loud, so mournful that it was heard in heaven and all around the earth. The herds and prides of animals stopped and became silent and then, in unison, answered Shimera’s cry with roars and howls and screeches of their own. This was the first time the wolf howled and some say it howls in remembrance of that terrible fate to this day.
The angels stopped in their tracks. Never had they heard such a sound and tears sprang to their eyes and slid down their cheeks. Shimera’s cry was filled with such pathos that even the angels could feel her despair. A requiem sprang to their lips for the actions of man that had brought this fate upon him. It expressed the sadness and the promise of hope that had yet to be recognized.
The Lord Our Protector
I look to the mountains; where will my help come from?
2 My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let you fall; your protector is always awake.
4 The protector of Israel never dozes or sleeps.
5 The Lord will guard you; he is by your side to protect you.
6 The sun will not hurt you during the day, nor the moon during the night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all danger; he will keep you safe.
8 He will protect you as you come and go now and forever.
Psalm 121Good News Translation (GNT
Neither Adam and Eve nor Shimera understood that promise of hope.
The lone dragon collapsed into a heap of hopelessness. “Why, Father? Why did you make me? For this? To see the downfall of all You have made? I do not understand? Please, Father, take me away, end my life, this is too much to bear! “
She heard the flap of powerful wings, knew that Michael was by her side, but could not rouse herself to greet him, so great was her despair. He sat, patiently waiting for her to be ready, ready to hear the story of the present and the future and hoping she would be able to accept it. Her road was to be a difficult one.
Eventually she sat up and together they looked at a particularly interesting sunset. It was magnificent in color, but matched the mood and horror of the day’s events.
As they looked at the sunset Michael remarked, “Today has been hard for you Shimera. I imagine you feel as hopeless as the dark clouds around the sun tonight.”
Shimera studied the sunset more carefully. It was a dark, sad sky, but something about it….she could not put her finger on it, but something held a promise, a … something
Michael approached her, put a hand on her shoulder. “Do you see that bright light near the horizon, Baby Girl? And do you see out it reflects up as if chasing those dark clouds away?”
Shimera studied harder and saw what Michael meant, the light of the sun was seeming to push the dark clouds away, the light was not being put out, strange as it seemed, it looked like it was winning?
“Keep looking, Princess, keep looking and see what happens to the threat of those dark clouds.
The burst of light shocked Shimera and she shrank back in awe and surprise.
“Hang on there, Princess.” Michael chuckled. “God the Father heard your sorrow. He heard your prayer. This was for you. It is His gift to
you. All is not lost, Shimera, there are hard times ahead, to be sure, but you are going to help the Father’s Son, Lord God Jesus Christ, bring those who are willing back to Him. This is His promise to you. He said to tell you that many more trying times are to come, times that will frighten you, times that may make you want to despair, but be strong, trust in your Father in heaven, for He will give you peace in the worst of times and maintain your joy. Remain focused on Him, trust in Him and all will turn out better than you could hope for.
Shimera stared at the burst of light and as she stared she felt her heart take flight and as her heart took flight she found herself lifting from the ground and she flew, she flew in glory to the Lord, in thanksgiving for His kindness, in amazement that she could fly and she opened her mouth and roared a roar of joy, a roar of gladness.
Michael was in the air with her. Shall we sing His praise, Princess?
“O Lord, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
2 it is sung by children and babies.
You are safe and secure from all your enemies;
you stop anyone who opposes you.”
Michael chanted, Shimera roared and it seemed as if the rocks and trees were joining in.
Finally at peace, an exhausted but happy Shimera sank to the earth and Michael with her. Now, we much move on, for they have been waiting for us to move on so the Garden can be hidden from man. The Tree of Life must never be found, Shimera, or man will live for all eternity and in his present state it would be disastrous for him, She looked as Michael with questioning eyes. “Yes, yes, God the Father can destroy anything He has created, but He is not one take creation lightly.” I cannot tell you all that will happen, but I do not that for now we must get out of this area and find a safe place for you so you can continue to grow and I can teach you what you must know. Together, they rose once more into the sky and flew east north east; in the direction of what would one day be called Canaan.